Dance » Buddhist Manjusri

Featured in: Gods and Demons

Manjusri, Gentle Glory, is considered by Nepalis to be the divine god of wisdom and a bodhisattva. A powerful and highly skilled warrior, he is the legendary founder of the Kathmandu Valley.

This dance highlights Manjusri’s physical and spiritual attributes through measured and highly stylistic moves, and forms part of the Vajrayana Buddhist charya tradition. Wearing the crown of the five Tibetan Dhyani Buddhas—Vairocana, Akshobhya, Ratnasambhava, Amitabha, and Amoghasiddhi, his purpose is to bring man to a higher state of enlightenment by banishing ignorance and wrongful thinking. His mantra is om a ra pa ca na dhīh, and is used to improve memory, general wisdom, as well as writing and debating skills.

The following is a list of the most well-known sacred Buddhist dances:

  • Charya (Vajrayana practice-dancer mirrors the deity)
  • Manjusri (Vajrayana)
  • Vajrayogini (Vajrayana)
  • Pancha Buddha (Ritual dance of the Shakyas)
  • Rakta Ganesh (Protective deity)
  • Arya Tara (Goddess who protects suffering beings)